LKAB and Salzgitter Group forge technical cooperation agreement

by David Fleschen

The Swedish mining group LKAB and Salzgitter AG have agreed to cooperate on the decarbonization
of the steel industry and have therefore forged a technical cooperation agreement. Both sides
perceive the agreement as an important step for the expansion and further development of the decadeslong

According to the SALCOS® - Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking program, the Salzgitter Group will have incrementally realized virtually CO2-free steel production by 2033, subject to expedient and suitable economic policy framework conditions and significant public subsidies.

LKAB produces about 80 percent of the iron ore mined in the EU and provides both blast furnace and direct reduction-based steel companies with high grade and high performing iron ore pellets and fines. It has already started to transition its production of iron ore to carbon-free sponge iron (HBI/DRI), a strategy aimed at enabling annual emissions savings of more than 40 million tons of CO2 in the steel industry before 2050.

Very high-quality iron ore pellets are required for the new steelmaking process via SALCOS® involving direct reduction plants and electric arc furnaces. The planned technical cooperation entails the companies examining which prerequisites need to be created to achieve this and evaluating the potential development of iron-ore-based raw materials for the future steelmaking process route.

"With our already unique climate performance and strategy to provide the steel industry with the raw material to enable decarbonization, first as pellets and successively as carbon-free DRI/HBI, we want to make this transformation in the industry possible together with our customers and suppliers. For such a change to materialize you need not only the incentives and level playing field on the market, but also an industrial value chain approach. The Salzgitter Group and LKAB can continue to build on their long-term relationship for realizing the decarbonization of the steel industry and deliver the cuts to emissions that are so urgently needed,” says Jan Moström, Chief Executive Officer of LKAB.

As Gunnar Groebler, Chairman of the Executive Board of Salzgitter AG, commented: "LKAB and Salzgitter Group are connected by more than 60 years of customer and supplier relations. This success story will now be continued and expanded to include the chapter of decarbonization of the steel industry. Together with strong partners, we are implementing our "Salzgitter AG 2030" Group strategy."

Source: LKAB, Photo: Salzgitter

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